WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A DISTINCTLY CHRISTIAN, CLASSICAL SCHOOL?
More About Our Classical Model The following are broad understandings:
A belief that all children are born with a God-given love for learning! Spend five minutes with a preschooler and before too long you will likely hear, “Why?” or “How?” or “What?” When properly and intentionally engaged, this innate desire to discover, investigate, question and probe, can be nurtured, encouraged and fed from Kindergarten through the 12th Grade. The result . . . graduates whose curiosity and love for learning is inspired and deepened.
An understanding that even young children evidence significant reasoning abilities. A parent relates that his 4-year-old son recently asked while boarding a plane, “How does the pilot know where to go?” Another asked her parents, “How does a bee sting a porcupine?” When parents are asked if their preschoolers know how to formulate an argument, after a sigh of exasperation they say, “Yes!” The Classical model recognizes this ability for young children to reason, and our model of education seeks to actively engage students to nurture this ability even in the earliest grades.
A belief that the most effective means of engaging a child’s reasoning ability and his love of learning is through the Socratic method of instruction. Socratic teaching involves leading students through questioning rather than simply providing answers to be memorized and repeated. The questioning process provides a template from which students learn to approach new and unknown information on their own.
Defining a “rigorous” curriculum as one that emphasizes a teacher’s ability to engage and inspire students through a high-quality curriculum. Our curriculum parallels the core requirements of rigorous private school programs; the difference is our belief that excellent teachers and teaching, not the curriculum, are the most critical component to inspiring students to love learning and to learn how to think.
A Classical education requires three distinct areas of study. These are the formal study of Latin beginning in the 3rd Grade, of formal Logic in the 7th and 8th Grades, and of formal Rhetoric in the 10th through 12th Grades. Each of these is critical to building the skill of understanding language, the skill of sound reasoning and the skill of persuasive communication.
Our understanding that because God created the universe, the subjects we study provide unending opportunities to learn more of the very nature and character of God. God’s signature is evident in the complexity and order of science, math and language. His sovereign plan unfolds in history (His story); art and music reflect the beauty of proportion and ratio; great literature, fables and fairy tales give insight into the heart of man, the love of a redeemer/hero, the fight between good and evil, and the triumph of good, the consequences of poor choices, and a call to transcendent principles. God reveals himself in all areas (academic subjects) of study. These are just a few examples of how God’s nature and character are revealed in all areas of study.
Because God created the universe as a unified whole, we integrate subjects to more accurately portray reality. History is revealed in literature, literature influences history, science struggles with theology, music and art reflect and inspire change, and geography changes the outcome of wars; the subjects we study are integrally related and must be taught in that context.
Covenant Classical Academy's model of education is inspired through an understanding of the Classic Liberal Arts. The ancients understood the nature of learning and over 1,500 years developed a method of education built on this understanding. This method was built on what is called the Trivium.